Adventures in Sock Knitting
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Posts Tagged ‘socks’

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More finishing along

Last week I went to Madrona. which gave me a great opportunity to stock up on some Goth Socks and get quite a bit of knitting done!

First I worked on the socks that my mom abandoned, mentioned a couple posts before this one. Although my mom gave them back to me because she didn’t like the color, I got tons of compliments while wandering around Madrona and knitting them. And it wasn’t long before they were finished!

Yarn: Four Seasons Gründl Hot Socks, color 933
Started: ? Fall 2008
Finished: 2/17/2012

Then I pulled out another longstanding WIP, my Herbivore. After checking the pattern to see where I had left off, I realized that I only had a few more rows to knit if I wanted it to be the length specified in the pattern. Because I had quite a bit of yarn left, I did a few extra repeats.

Pattern: Herbivore by Stephen West
Yarn: Tosh Merino Light in Baltic
Started: 2/20/2011
Finished: 2/20/2012

Coincidentally I finished it exactly one year after I started. I bought the yarn last year either from the Fiber Gallery Madrona booth, or immediately after coming home.

I also made quite a bit of progress on some plain socks from yarn I dyed in Stephania’s class in December:

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A little mystery…

So, I have this yarn…

See, usually I’m very organized and I put all of my stash into Ravelry and keep ball bands and all that jazz, but this yarn has a story.

I acquired it sometime before October 11, 2006 when it first appeared in a picture of my sock stash for Socktoberfest.

old yarn

Then it marinated for a while until I got into Ravelry and put it in my Ravelry stash, strangely using a different Flickr account than my normal one, on June 28, 2007. Apparently I created a second Flickr account in June of 2007, uploaded stash pics over a couple weeks, and completely forgot about it.*

*until tonight when I was going crazy trying to figure out the details of this yarn!

In the fall of 2008, I gave the yarn to my mom to start her second pair of socks and deleted it from my Ravelry stash.

Fast forward to December 2011, when my mom declares that she should knit a second pair of socks and I remind her that I gave her yarn and needles. She can’t recall, and goes and finds the barely-started socks in a drawer. (Minus the ball band and any identifying yarn information, of course.)

She declares that she doesn’t like the way they look and is going to go buy some other yarn, so I pull the socks-in-progress off the needles – of course she wanted to keep the needles! – and take them home to knit for myself.

This is all well and good, except for the fact that I have absolutely no idea what the yarn is. And, being me, this starts making me crazy when I try to put the project into Ravelry. So I spent several hours last night going through my blog archives and trying to find where I posted about the yarn, since I seem to recall that it was a gift. I never posted. But I did find the stash pic above which gave me a clue about when I got it.

Then while falling asleep I think that I wouldn’t have deleted the stash pics from my Flickr. It popped into my head at knitting group, so tonight when I got home I went back through my Flickr archives trying to find the time when I was photographing my stash in the summer of 2007 shortly after getting into Ravelry… but I couldn’t find it.

In fact, I came and started this blog post thinking I would beg for the help of the internet in identifying the yarn from that first crummy photo, when I suddenly thought “Hey, didn’t I have a different Flickr name once?” and found it.

Hot Socks

And those are the lengths I’ll go to to solve yarn mysteries… knitting is so relaxing. 😉

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My knitting group companions Erin and Jessica of the Doubleknit Podcast have decided that 2012 is the year of FFS – the Finish, Frog, and Slog along.

As someone with far too many WIPs, I think this is a splendid idea. So here’s my first finish:

I started these plain socks for Halloween, but as you can see it took me a while to get to them. I like wearing plain stockinette socks, and I have a lot of variegated yarn, so I try to keep some going most of the time.

Started: 10/6/11
Finished: 1/19/12
Yarn: Crash Into Ewe in Monster Mash

So, after finishing these plain socks, I started another pair in the yarn I dyed at Stephania’s class. It started off like this:


And changed to this:


And is making some interesting striping socks, which I’ll show you in a bit!

I’ve also been putting in some time on some languishing non-sock projects, but more on that later.


A couple more FOs

I went to a holiday party for my knitting group, and a couple of things happened.

We have a gift exchange, and I got this lovely yarn spun by smallsmallfaery:

It’s about 130 yards of Romney, and although it says 11wpi, which is a worsted / aran weight so it will be perfect for my big Chevron blanket*.

And I was thoroughly embarrassed that nearly everyone was wearing a Noro Striped Scarf, and mine (which I started ages and ages ago) was still a WIP. So I got motivated:

Noro Striped Scarf

Pattern: Noro Striped Scarf
Yarn: Noro Kureyon in colors 40 and 233, 2 skeins each
Started: 1/18/2009
Finished: 12/18/2011

So, just shy of 3 years later I have finally finished my scarf! I feel pretty silly admitting that, but I just don’t often get into the mood of knitting something in 1×1 rib. Now that it’s done I’ve been wearing it most days!

Then while traveling for the holidaze, I finished a much more recent project, Melanie’s 2011 Birthday Socks.

Yarn: Sophie’s Toes in Grandma’s Blueberry Pie
Started: 11/6/11
Finished: 12/24/11

Melanie modeled them and had the idea of posing with the lights leading from the tree to the plug, so we did.

*another WIP I really should put some stitches on

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OK Cat Bordhi, you were right!

At Madrona last February, I saw Cat Bordhi and she told me she had come up with a brand new kind of heel, and that she thought I would like it. I asked her some questions, and she told me it was a variation on a short row heel, and I was skeptical to say the least.

See, I hate short row heels. I hate the little holes, and I know there are ways to get rid of them, but it’s not worth it because the second thing I hate about them is that they don’t fit my feet well at all.

I have rather odd feet. They’re very small – by length I should wear a US size 5.5 to 6 shoe, but I usually end up going a bit bigger because my feet are also tall. Not wide, if I try on a shoe like a Mary Jane or similar style that doesn’t go over the top of my foot, I can fit into a 6 no problem – it’s just that I can’t close the straps. (You can ask Shannon, we went to the Fluevog store after Sock Summit and she watched me try on 3 pairs of shoes that fit great if I left the straps hanging wide open.) Perhaps because of this tallness, or perhaps for other reasons, the distance diagonally from the back of my heel around the front of my foot is very large compared to the circumference of my foot (12″ compared to 8″) – thus short row heels are not a good option.

But enough about me. I saw Cat again at Sock Summit, after she had released her Cat’s Sweet Tomato Heel Socks ebook. She told me about the heel again, and I decided to try it.

Why? Well, Cat is a genius of crazy sock construction, and she looked at my feet and told me she thought it would work, and promised me that there would be no holes. Plus, because I am an *ahem* rather experienced sock knitter, she said I would probably be able to figure it out just from the YouTube Video.

And so… I did. Really, what did I have to lose?

Pattern: my plain sock recipe with Cat’s Sweet Tomato Heel
Yarn: Patons Stretch Socks in Cherry Sours
Started: 8/7/11
Finished: 10/5/11

I cast on shortly after Sock Summit and carried them around in my bag for in between knitting, so it took quite a while to finish them. Plus I couldn’t tell you all about them until I wore them!

So here’s the verdict. There are a couple little issues:

1. The back of the ankle is slightly baggy, but nothing to interfere with wear, and I know Cat has many variations and tweaks in her book, which I didn’t use because I just made the most basic version. This is really a very minor issue.

2. The foot is slightly too long, but that is completely my error as I wasn’t sure where to measure from to figure out when to start the toe, and I didn’t try them on. (bad knitter!)

3. Though the first pick ups of the wraps look beautiful, somehow I didn’t do them quite the same the second time around and they look slightly less beautiful (also completely a user error), but they’re still much better than those awful short row holes!

Overall, they fit very well and I think they’d be an excellent option for me if I ever knit toe-up socks again. 😉

And a little about the yarn, since I hadn’t used it before. It’s a nice cotton/wool blend and though it was a little splitty, it wasn’t bad to work with. The finished feel is really nice! Also it was dirt cheap – I threw it in my cart when ordering my rotary mat from Joann’s because it bumped me over the limit and was cheaper than paying shipping.


Socks and Shawls

The knitting around here has been mostly secret, but I did manage to finish up a couple of public things…

Greek Isles Handspun Socks
Started: 7/27/2011
Finished: 9/25/2011
Yarn: Handspun sock yarn in Greek Isles superwash merino roving (Pigeonroof Studios?)

Unfortunately one of my larger sock blockers is hiding. I’m sure it’s around here somewhere. I finished spinning the yarn during Tour de Fleece this year. The tag on the roving didn’t say where it was from, but some Googling has lead me to believe that it was Pigeonroof Studios. I must have bought it in person or got it as a gift, though.

The other project is a little shawlette:

Pattern: Traveling Woman
Yarn: Stitchjones Glam Sock in Marine
Started: 9/10/11
Finished: 10/1/11

As you can see it’s currently blocking. :) It’s a very easy pattern, and a pretty quick knit too!

In other knitting news, yesterday I went to my LYS in search of a crochet hook for beading. I have some pretty little ones that I’ve used before, but this time my size 10 crochet hook (it looks like size varies between companies, but between 1 and 1.3mm) was just not small enough. Unfortunately, that’s the smallest size they carry.

So after calling JoAnn’s (no, they didn’t have it either) I ordered sizes 13 and 14 online. (0.85mm and 0.75mm respectively). Hopefully these will be small enough. I honestly can’t imagine how much of a hook they can really have at that size!

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First off, Stephania graciously lent me a picture of my socks hanging in the Three Fates Yarns booth at Sock Summit:

L to R: Jera, Falling Up, Intercalate, Isaz

I’m pretty sure that’s the end of Sock Summit stuff, so moving on…

Skew is one of my old WIPs, Started February 12, 2010 – let’s hope I finish it before it’s 2nd WIP birthday. Shortly after starting it, I heard a lot of people were having problems with the fit. And, given my very high instep, I worried.

Skew, toe and foot

Then I learned about the high instep mods on the designer’s blog, and a KAL for Knitty patterns inspired me to work on it more.

After the “inner ankle” increases

I think for me, the issue was that the sock is simple, but not *that* simple. It requires a bit of concentration, but doesn’t have quite enough interest to hold my attention during the straight foot section.

more increasing, and see the bump where the heel will go?

I like my knitting either interesting or boring, this pattern is intermediate and switches back and forth too often for my knitting style.

separating heel stitches

But after finding about the high instep modification, I was convinced to persevere.

grafting the heel – hope you like Kitchener!

Besides, I really wanted to figure out if this thing was ever going to become sock-shaped!

hmmm…. still looks funny

It doesn’t really appear all that sock-shaped…


… but it fits, I checked.


At last!

Well, I have been slacking on my promised post with more about Sock Summit. The problem, you see (other than all the secret knitting keeping me busy) is that I have camnesia. It’s a horrible disease where I bring my camera to Sock Summit yet take pretty much no pictures. It’s true, I have a couple of pictures of my socks in progress and a few more of food. That’s it.

So I borrowed some from Shannon Okey.

Here’s Shannon’s picture of me in the Cooperative Press booth. It’s not a great picture of me, but I spent lots of time in the booth, and I helped hang up all those socks. :) Plus, it proves I was actually at Sock Summit.


The Monday after Sock Summit, Shannon and I headed to Knit Picks where we got to hang out, see pretty yarn, and make some videos. Here’s me about to be interviewed by Stacey:


Of course, my eyes are closed. Maybe there’s a reason there aren’t more pictures of me at Sock Summit!

And further proof… my friend noticed that I am visible in Harry’s (Franklin’s ball of sock yarn) Sock Summit adventure video. I’m trying to squeeze out of the Goth Socks booth at about 2:14 in the video.

So now that you believe that I was there, here’s what I got…


Just in case you were wondering, I still like blue.

L to R

Canon Hand Dyes Charles Sock Yarn

2 skeins of Three Fates Yarns Tethys Sock

superwash fiber from MacKintosh Yarns

a Magic Ball from Sophie’s Toes

Fiber Optic Yarns Foot Notes

Sanguine Gryphon Skinny Bugga

And the Goth Socks:


The two on the right are the same, I’m hoping to knit some gothy knee socks.

While I was photographing yarn, I thought I’d give you a sneak peek of some of the yarns that are going to be in my book – some of them are from Sock Summit, some aren’t.


It’s not a complete list, since some (strangely the warmer colors!) are currently being knit. But the ones pictured here are (L to R):

ms. gusset



MacKintosh Yarns

more Swoonish

kitchen sink dyeworks

Now back to knitting!

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Last week was a whirlwind of socks!

Thursday morning I woke bright (ok, actually dark) and early to get on a train to Portland and Sock Summit. To be truthful, I was waking at 5am after a 2 hour “nap”, since I stayed up til 3am packing and wondering where my summer clothes were once I heard it was going to be in the 80s in Portland. We haven’t had much summer this year.

After a train trip of knitting and dozing, I arrived and sat down for a bit of knitting:

Then I met up with the lovely Stephania of Three Fates yarns to hand over my sock samples. I totally should have gotten a picture of them hanging in her booth, but alas I did not.

I helped Shannon set up at the Cooperative Press booth and had my first Voodoo Donut, scored a bit of Goth Socks when the market opened, and then went and sold CP grab bags until it closed again and we went to get dinner.

Friday morning I had a class, then headed to the market place where I alternated between helping at the CP booth and wandering the marketplace while knitting the socks above. I bought a few more skeins of yarn too. Just before leaving, Cookie A took a picture of my Twisted Flower socks!

I was lucky enough to have dinner with some fun and fabulously knitty people, including Kate Atherley who designed the My Vampire Boyfriend socks which I am currently neglecting – but they’re awesome socks, and I’m totally going to finish them! – and Sarah from Sanguine Gryphon.

Saturday was more marketplacing and booth-sitting, and dinner with a friend who was down for just the day, then early to bed.

Sunday morning we could barely get out of bed – sometimes all the socky excitement is just too much! But we managed and headed into Sock Summit for one last fun-filled day. I skipped out for lunch and took the Max downtown with Lacey, where we knit socks… of course.

Socks around Portland

Afterwards I had a low key dinner with Shannon and then she got a tattoo! I love accompanying people on their tattoo appointments!

Then it was up even more early on Monday to head over to Knit Picks. I saw fabulous new yarns, met Stacey who I had only corresponded with by email, and filmed some video.

On the train home, I finished some socks:

Yarn: Jarbo Mini Raggi
Started: 4/29/11
Finished: 8/1/11

And the rest (including the yarn) will have to wait for later. Too much fun!


Hedera, Spinning, and the Road to the Summit!

I finished my first KAL with the 52 Pair Plunge group, Hederaesque:

Pattern: A modified version of Hedera
Yarn: Cavyshops Merino Fingering in Tea Party
Started: 7/1/11
Finished: 7/24/11

A pretty pathetic start, but my July knitting was seriously hampered by my participation in Tour de Fleece.

I finished a skein of BMFA in Little Bunny Foo Foo:

And started some lovely Cloudlover superwash BFL in Hoarfrost:

These past few weeks I’ve spun more than I had in the past year! (And there’s the knitting lull to show for it.)

In addition, I’ve been preparing for my trip to Sock Summit with a very important task… sock laundry.

Sock laundry

The bottom half of the drying rack is hidden behind a table and out of the picture. So yeah, I have a lot of handknit socks. Obviously I won’t be able to wear (or even bring!) them all to Sock Summit, but I figured it was as good a reason as any to take a picture of all my clean socks.

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